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Elementary 2016-2017 – 3rd Grade

Elementary School Nowhere to Somewhere

My son C, had a year that was very, very unexpected.  Since he is our youngest, he’s our baby of the family.  It’s kind of not nice to say but we haven’t pushed him as much as his older siblings.  Not to say that we don’t want the best for him.  Up until this past year, we really didn’t have him do too many activities.  Some of it was because of financial difficulties and some of it was time and effort.  To be honest it is hard to allocate enough time to all the kids equally.  We’ve been balancing everything by prioritizing oldest to youngest.  Oldest because he has so much to do and college getting closer and closer.

Up Until Now…

My youngest son has only taken a few classes in swimming, soccer, and basketball.  Each activity has only been a few months at the most.  He hasn’t taken music lessons or after school enrichment classes.  Basically, we haven’t spent too much money on him. 

What he has done this past year is have his brother and sister teach him cello using their old cello and Suzuki Cello Books.  He has progressed nicely with that.  Also with all of our kids, we order them various books from Amazon and have them watch Khan Academy videos on Youtube

Parent/Teacher Conference doesn’t Go Well

We were worried after the first Parent/Teacher meeting.  I like to go to the first meeting for all my children.  This is usually the first chance that I have to meet the teachers to see how they are and to show them how we are.  We’ve had various interactions with many teachers over the years.  Most of them were normal but others not so much.  The teachers that I had some issues with thought we couldn’t speak English at first and tried to talk down to us.  Not sure if other parents have that issue but that is something I’ve encountered and mostly ignore.  I just make sure to talk normally and ask lots of questions. 

Back to the meeting.  The teacher was very nice and very understanding.  However, after speaking a bit with her she told my wife and me that my son doesn’t participate too much.  That was a surprise to us because he always was the most outgoing in all his other classes.  He always had the most friends and the teachers genuinely loved having him in their class.  We made sure to tell her this and she seemed surprised by the look on her face.  We made sure to discuss this in depth and we left the meeting perplexed. 

When we got home we went straight to him and asked him if there were any problems at school?  Why wasn’t he participating in class?  His answer, “I’m shy”.  This shocked us even more.  For a kid who was always outgoing and popular, this made no sense.  We didn’t want the same thing that my daughter went through happen to him.  It took three years for her to break out of her shell.  Read about that here.

Sometimes fear is good

What we did was what most Asian families do at a time that needs focus and delicate handling.  We scared him!  We told him that he better stop making excuses that he was shy and start participating starting tomorrow.  He would be in trouble if he received a report card that didn’t have A’s in class participation.  That was it.  A formula for success is different parts of love, encouragement, workbooks, youtube videos and fear.  You mix and match the amount depending on the situation.

How the year ended

What if I were to tell you that my son C, did something that his more accomplished brother and sister never did?  Would you believe me?  My little guy did so well this past year that he was selected to the district extra gifted program!  Hahaahah!!!  Talk about something coming out of left field!  We had absolutely no idea he was doing so well.  He will be entering into the accelerated program this September.  So proud!

What a great Year!  Especially since it started so inauspiciously.   All the hard work he did paid off and not to be too harsh he really is smart. 

Any questions or comments find us on Facebook.  Watch out for our Summer story.

In true Tiger Dad and Tiger Mom fashion here is a program that was developed by Stanford University to really help your children excel academically.  Follow the link below.
Advance a Full Grade This Summer at GiftedandTalented.com

Another program that I found useful for kids from elementary to middle school is Thinkster Math. I know Math is the one subject that terrifies kids the most and some parents as well.  Read more by following the link below.

 Don’t let your child fall behind. Thinkster Math boosts scores & confidence. Learn more today!

Lastly, I found a site that was started by Moms.  I’m not sure if they’re Tiger Moms but they’ve built a site that is good.  Read about it some more at Testing Mom.